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TVparty is Classic TV on the internet!Los Angeles Punk Rock 1980s
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1980's Los Angeles Punk / New Wave

From the found archives of The Billy Eye and Judy Zee articles in Data-Boy Magazine / 1980-85

The Toasters

HEAR THE (original LA) TOASTERS - their single "Teenage Tease", an LA New Wave classic. In Real Audio.

These original Data-Boy Music columns have been collected in a book with LOTS of new material and photos - it's the story of Data-Boy magazine and the LA Punk / Post-Punk scene. The story presented is a lot more complete!

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John Hiatt and the Toasters
January 19, 1981 by billy eye

"Only the great masters of style
ever succeed in being obscure."
- Oscar Wilde

I only have time for a short article this time, and only space to tell you that rock and roll history was made Jan. 14 at the Starwood. John Hiatt and the Toasters played two sets each to appreciative audiences.

What a galaxy of stars that assembled the other evening at the Starwood! I saw Safeway of the Nobodys and, oh yes, the drummer for the Pretenders, what's his name, and a whole glut of record company promotional personnel and producers. That's what they travel in, a glut.

Joe College, the Bobby Sherman of the Eighties?

Bruce Kaplan and The Toasters played a rousing set to a receptive crowd. Actually, the group is still called The Toasters, but every time Eye have seen a Toaster's gig, members of the audience will call out for bassist Bruce Kaplan, who goes by the name 'Joe College'.

I'm willing to go on record and say that Bruce may end up the Bobby Sherman of the Eighties!

The Toasters have a single that they released last year, and although they've since added a new kick-ass bass player, it is still quite good and it includes my pick to click - "Baby's on the Rag."

John Hiatt

Headlining the Show was John Hiatt. I don't really know what to say about the set, I'm not familiar with John Hiatt's work. He is a skilled performer who really does create some exciting moments onstage but there is nothing particularly ground-breaking here.

The audience was geared up for him, but he received little more than a warm response during most of the show, which was a record company showcase. Not that I would look for John Hiatt to be playing the Holiday Inn lounge anytime soon, he really is a seasoned performer with a tight band that creates well crafted music. He just isn't seasoned to my taste, I guess.

Just remember, the government teaches us that a stupid opinion is just as valuable as an informed one.

The Toasters spent months in 1982 recording a demo for RCA with Ron Fair producing. When RCA big-cheese Paul Atkinson didn't pick up the band, they slugged it out for another few years on the LA club scene and disbanded.

Kaplan spent several years on musical hiatus as one of LA's first computer nerds, before returning to music to play guitar in the Tearjerkers. TJ shows at the Central were always an event. Featuring the triple threat vocals and songwriting of Dannette Christine, Anny Celsi and Allison MacLeod, the Tearjerkers continued the brand of Garage Pop that the Toasters pioneered.

In fact, Toaster front-man Mark Lee produced many of the band's hard to find recordings (with the exception of "Shovel Full of Dirt," produced by Marvin Etzioni, an LA phenomena in his own right.)

Lee then appeared briefly around 1989-1990 in the BMG recording group Maggie's Farm with MacLeod and Kaplan's wife, vocalist Claudia Russell. The band featured back to roots writing and vocals of MacLeod with amazing harmonies by Lee and Russell. This band suffered from Spinal-tap type mismanagement by veteran record guy Artie Mogul.

Kaplan still plays guitar and mandolin in bands with Celsi and MacLeod.

The whereabouts of Toaster's bassist Robyn Harris is unknown. The Toasters had three drummers, but probably Danny O'Brien was with the band the longest. He was last seen playing with Jamie James and the Kingbees in the late Eighties.

- Bruce Kaplan  



Punk Rock Los Angeles


10-7-80 The first article, The Masque, Punk bands, Darby Crash & The Germs, The Garage

10-21-80 The Toasters, Great Buildings, The Go-Gos

11-2-80 New Wave nights in Hollywood, T.S.O.L, Shandi, The Smog Marines

11-16-80 Grace Jones, The Nobodys, Billy Sheets and the Elites, The Talking Heads

12-1-80 Hollywood Boulevard 'punks'

12-27-80 End of the year wrap-up, The Naughtie Sweeties, Dead Kennedys, Fear, punk riot in the OC

12-27-80 David Bowie as The Elephant Man

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1-05-81 Devo, Rock Against Racism

1-19-81 John Hiatt and The Toasters at the Starwood

2-03-81 Wendy O Williams, London aka Motley Crue, and Live Nude Girl

2-17-81 The Veil, Darby Crash death, Phil Seymour and The Textones

3-5-81 New wave night at the Odyssey, Ray Manzerek

3-19-81 The East LA scene, Hey Taxi!, The Rentz, The Plugz, The Detour, Human Sexual Response

3-19-81 Judy Zee on LA radio in 1981

4-02-81 Tonio K & Romeo Void, Oki-Dog, Flippers, A week in the LA clubs

4-16-81 XTC, Wall of Voodoo, Madame
Wong, and The Pop

4-30-81 U2 and Missing Persons

5-14-81 Billy Eye Rock Awards, Manakin

5-28-81 Missing Persons at the Topanga Corral

6-11-81 The Brat, Parapalegic Infants in Downtown LA and U2 in Santa Monica

6-25-81 Performance artist Adore O'Hare, downtown clubs, Red Wedding

6-25-81 Missing Persons in Westwood

7-09-81 Los Illegals, The Brat in Hollywood, Al's Bar, Johanna Went, Jerry Lee Lewis

7-09-81 John Cale live at The Whisky

7-23-81 Brave Dog, Stiff Little Fingers with Missing Persons, The Grandmothers

8-06-81 Bow Wow Wow, Malcolm McLaren, Mad Society, Ian Hunter , and the new psychedelia

8-22-81 Missing Persons, Jean Pierre Rampal

9-07-81 Filming at the Brave Dog, Red Wedding, Atomic Cafe, The Stains, Los Illegals, East LA bands

10-06-81 KROQ of the '80s, hardcore EPs, Missing Persons at The Whisky

10-20-81 West Hollywood & the end of The Starwood

4-7-82 New Wave Theatre, Aphotic Culture, The Waitresses and The Plimsouls

5-07-82 In the clubs, The Spoons, Nick Lowe, Madame Wong's West, Angry Samoans, Motley Crue

5-21-82 Interview with Terry Bozzio in 1982

8-27-82 Missing Persons, Red Wedding at the Whisky, Dream Syndicate, The Untouchables, The Go-Gos, Orange County hardcore

1-12-83 End of the year, Minutemen, Fear, Gun Club, Theoretical party, KROQ, Missing Persons

3-14-85 Red Wedding closes The Odyssey in 1985

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